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Picking an endgame amp and DAC for HD800, LCD-2, and T1

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I've been lurking around Head-fi for a while, but haven't ever posted. I thought I'd ask for some input from you guys since I know this help and recommendations forum can get a little boring with mostly entry-level equipment and low budgets.

 

I'm looking to spend around $2k–3k on an endgame amp and DAC. Like I said in the thread title, I've ordered the HD800 and T1, and the LCD-2 and HD650 are my two most frequently used headphones at the moment. The most important thing to me is that the setup that I choose fits very well with the character of at least two of the three high-end cans that I have—especially the HD800. I personally would prefer SS to tubes, but I'm certainly open to be moved from that.

 

At the moment, I'm working with a Yulong A18 + ODAC combination, which doesn't quite breathe enough life into the LCD-2s for me. At the end of the day, I want a musical and enjoyable setup—not necessarily a highly neutral one. A few options that have come onto my radar lately are the Burson Conductor SL 1793, or the AURALiC Taurus Mk. II with something like a DA8. I've also heard fairly positive things about the WA6-SE.

 

The goal is for the this to be the last stop, but I know that it's only a matter of time before I hear some STAX on a Blue Hawaii setup or 1266's on LAu and have a mental crisis. Until then, though, I'd love to have a setup that leaves me completely content with the headphones that I have. Do you guys have any strong recommendations that you think I should look into?

post #2 of 4

This is not the best place to get the quality and quantity of answers you want on this issue.  I understand that you are instructed to make your first post here.  However, that should be in the form a quick hello and introduction.  This question/discussion belongs somewhere in the Summit-Fi and/or Equipment Forums sections of the forum.

post #3 of 4

The Benchmark DAC1 and its successors are very transparent and a good value for that price range.

post #4 of 4

I have the HD800, LCD2 and the HD650s. I think you may need 2 separate amps to get the best out of the HD800 and LCD2, as they have very different characteristics.

 

If I had to pick one amp, I'd pick my 2A3 SET amplifier - 3W of goodness which, along with my LCD2s, produces a lush, rich, full-bodied sound.   And with my HD800s, it compensates for that slight bit of leanness and makes them a lot more musical.

 

Some people prefer solid state amps with the LCD2s and tubes with the HD800s.  

 

If you want to go with solid state, get something that runs in Class A, measures well and has enough power to drive the headphones.  Various amps that meet these characteristics will be indistinguishable in a blind test.

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